Sweet-smellin' homemade Granola

I did not grow up in a granola household. No, I grew up in a carnation instant breakfast house, with the occasional weekend crepe feast. My parents being from Europe did the best they could to adapt to this American life, but as there was no boulangerie on our suburban street corner to get our pet't dej, breakfast became a meal that was in a way ignored.

That is not to say that I didn't eat well as a child, between homemade pasta and bread, i was definitely spoiled with good food. And that is not to say that i didn't Love my carnation instant breakfast, and i still kinda do (- it's chocolaty richness, and pebbles of not quite mixed in mix that pop in your mouth. The best.)

But discovering granola was like finding the golden egg of just good for you comfort food. And not just any kind of granola, but home made granola. The kind that fills your home with the sweet aroma that hugs you. There is nothing like it. I have had the store bought variety, and they do not compare, it is a whole different universe in the world of cereals. A crunchy universe, with lots of energy. (i've been told that a bowl of this granola gives one energy like a strong cup of coffee.)

And it's not only good for breakfast, also tastes great as an afternoon snack, or a simple dessert.
Cranberry Pecan Granola
3.5 cups oats
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cups honey
1/3 cup melted butter, cooled
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped

- Preheat oven to 325 and prepare a 9 x 13 x 2 baking pad with a silicon baking pad, or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, & cinnamon.
- In a smaller bowl, mix the honey, butter, and vanilla.
- Pour over the oats and mix until well combined.
- Pour into the prepared pan and evenly distribute.
- Place in oven, and mix with a wooden spoon every ten minutes to make sure the edges don't burn.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown.
-Once slightly cooled, mix in the cranberries, and allow to cool completely before storing.

***Feel free to use any variation of nuts and seeds. Try any of your favorite dried fruit, or try chopped chocolate.